Feature Article

December 30, 2010

Nokia's Decision: Android, Windows Phone 7 or Other OS

Over the last decade, the mobile phone industry has changed considerably and a new “mobile Internet” has gained the attention of consumers and telecommunication companies.

The increasing smartphone completion and sinking market share of Symbian may compel Nokia to make a choice between Google'sAndroid Operating System or Microsoft'sWindows Phone 7. By adopting a Operating system for its mobile devices, Nokia can regain its lost market share in the smartphone space, reports the International Business Times (IB Times).

During the last few months, market observers have been guessing about Nokia’s mood to adopt a third-party software on its phones to recapture its narrowing share of the smartphone market, especially in the United States—one of the world's largest markets for smartphones.

 Recently, Google's Andy Rubin has expressed his hopes that Nokia will eventually adopt Google's OS. Rubin's comments at San Francisco's D:Dive Into Mobile earlier this week triggered rumors that Nokia is currently considering jumping on board with Android, amid poor sales figures in the U.S, according to the IB Times.

In 2006, Nokia controlled 20 percent of the U.S. market. That number has now dwindled to a little over seven percent, triggering concerns from investors. Nokia unveiled three smartphones –E7, C7 and C6 –that run on its Symbian 3 platform at the company's annual Nokia World conference, not a single one will be offered by a U.S. carrier. Also, the company's flagship model N8 – touted as Nokia's answer to the iPhone – is also not being offered by a U.S. carrier, thereby questioning the seriousness of Nokia's intentions about re-entering the U.S. market. In the U.S., customers will have to buy N8 unlocked, and then buy a separate SIM card.

In the smartphone arena, Finland-based Nokia competes with Apple and Samsung.  The company has seen market share declines and higher operating costs. The worlds' largest handset maker has been slow to adapt to the smartphone revolution in the U.S., which has been led by Apple's iPhone and Google Android devices. Ever since the iPhone was launched in 2007, Nokia has witnessed a steady erosion of its smartphone market share. Apple and Nokia have an ongoing patent dispute that has lead Apple to bulk up its legal team.

Over the last few years Nokia, who has seen its market share decline and expenses increase at a steep, may be looking to adopt Android. Its market share has suffered in the past because of the software problems that have caused delays in bringing out new versions of its Symbian operating system and smartphones.

Mandira Srivastava is a MobilityTechzone contributor. She works as a full-time writer, ghostwriter and blogger, and has more than two years of experience in print and Web media. She has also worked on company brochures, website content and product descriptions, as well as proofreading and editing content. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

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